Health/Wellness | The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans


Posted by thea on April 30, 2009

I like sugar. I like sugar a lot.

I like it on my cereal.  I like it on my oatmeal. I like it in my coffee. I like it baked into stuff. I like it not baked into stuff.

What I don’t like is how it makes me want to eat more. How one cookie becomes 3.  How one piece of cake becomes 6 (yes…6). How, despite my total lack of control, IT IS ALWAYS IN MY HOUSE!

I have 2 kids.  I can’t escape sugar totally.  I really do WANT to have sugar in my house so that I can teach my kids that sugar is not bad; too much sugar is bad. WAY too much sugar is really, really bad.

April is a very bad sugar month for me.  Girl Scout Cookies, Easter candy, ice cream on Jake’s birthday, brownies for Jake’s party at school, cake for Jake and Emma’s birthday party, ice cream on Emma’s birthday, Knox Blocks for Emma’s party at school, leftovers of ALL of the above mentioned…

And how do I get rid of it?  I eat it. Almost all of it. And then I wonder how I can have a 3 pound gain.

Really, there’s no point to this post other than to vent.

And to say that i need to step away from the sugar.  I just read that an adult on a 2,000 calorie diet should get no more than 40 grams of sugar a day.

Considering my morning yogurt has 14 grams, I think I have some work to do.  I’m going to keep a sugar diary for the next couple of weeks just to see exactly how much I eat on a normal basis.  Care to join me?

Posted by christy on April 28, 2009

Research shows that on average, Americans are eating only half the recommended 3 servings of dairy foods each day. That means it’s likely we will come up short on the recommended amounts of calcium and other essential nutrients dairy foods naturally provide to help keep bones strong and bodies healthy. Encouraging your family to eat 3-A-Day of Dairy —three servings of milk, cheese or yogurt— every day is a deliciously easy way to help build stronger bones and healthy bodies. In addition to calcium, milk, cheese and yogurt together provide: potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins D, A and B12, riboflavin and niacin (niacin equivalents).

What’s a serving?

  • 8 ounces of low-fat or fat-free milk (plain or chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat or fat-free yogurt
  • 1 1/2 ounces natural cheese
  • 2 ounces of processed cheese (like Kraft Singles)
  • 1/3 cup of shredded cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat pudding
  • 1 cup frozen yogurt
  • 1/2 cup low-fat ice cream

If you are between the ages of 19-50 the research shows that 9 out of 10 women and 6 out of 10 men are not getting enough calcium! Doesn’t that just blow your mind? Studies also say that just taking a calcium supplement doesn’t cut the mustard. You need the other nutrients found in milk, too!

Each 8 ounce glass of milk you consume contains:

  • 30% of daily calcium – strengthens bones
  • 25% of daily vitamin D – helps your body absorb calcium
  • 24% of daily riboflavin – helps convert food to energy
  • 23% of daily phosphorus – helps strengthen bones
  • 18% of daily vitamin B12 – builds red blood cells
  • 16% of daily protein – builds, maintains muscle tissue
  • 11% of daily potassium – helps regulate blood pressure
  • 10% of daily vitamin A – maintains vision and skin

Milk is not only good for your bones, it also helps your body convert the food you eat to fuel, and it provides the all important protein your muscles need, especially while Shredding!

So this week, starting today, we at the Sisterhood are challenging ourselves, and YOU, to get your daily recommended allowance of calcium – 3 servings a day for 5 days – from milk, cheese, and/or yogurt. Can you do it?

If you have any suggestions or creative ways to incorporate more calcium in our diets, please let us know!

Sources:, Cooking Light Magazine, May 2009

Posted by april on April 23, 2009

Okay, all of you shredders (you ARE still shredding, aren’t you?) and work out peeps, listen up!  You have the exercising part down pat now, but do you have the nutrition part figured out?

When someone says to me, “oh, you can’t have this cupcake because you’re on a DIET,” or “what diet are you on,”  I truly want to poke my eye out.  Also, now that I’ve lost a lot of weight, I hear a lot of, “how’d you do it?”  And then the person is anxiously awaiting my magic pill answer on how to lose weight.  This situation makes me want to puke.

I am not on a diet.  I have tried those.  They don’t work.   Instead, I have chosen to have good nutrition.

Nutrition is half the battle in the war of weight loss.  Working out is fabulous, and we all know I love a good work out, but good nutrition can really accelerate your weight loss.  When I first began “eating to fuel my body for working out” instead of “working out so I could eat what I want“, I chose to count calories.  (All of you Weight Watchers?  It‘s basically calorie counting and good nutrition made simple. So, good onya.)  I set my calories at 1200.  I could go this low because I knew that my body had over 50 lbs to lose and wouldn’t feel like it was starving.  I know 1200 calories doesn’t sound like a lot of food, but I found ways to make it a lot of food for me.

First, I ate a ton of veggies.  Especially the green ones.  These are free foods because it takes more calories to burn them off than it does to actually eat them.  Then, I cut out all white breads, pastas, and other processed foods and replaced them with whole grain foods.  Your body basically processes white breads and pastas like sugar, so this can slow down your weight loss. The last thing I did was to occasionally treat myself.  If I wanted a cookie, I ate A cookie. If I wanted a beer, I made sure I stuck with with light beer, but I drank A beer.  Then, I either adjusted my calories or planned to work out extra to make up for it. Giving yourself occasional treats will keep you from going insane; you just don’t make those treats the norm!  For me, following these simple tricks plus being extremely meticulous about how many calories I was eating, and the weight literally melted off.

Until, I got to the last 23 lbs.   I stopped losing weight and couldn‘t figure out why.  I was still working out, and I was eating healthy foods, so what the hell?  After researching a little more, I found that I actually needed to eat more calories.  This was hard to accept because I was so used to eating 1200 calories and well, it’s been beaten into our heads that in order to lose weight, we need to eat less.

While that is true, when you get to the point where you don’t have as much weight to lose, and especially if you’re working out, you have to eat more because your body doesn’t have the extra fat to use as energy.  So, the solution for me was up my calories to 1500(it‘s all trial and error).  Weight loss now is slower than before, but I’m still losing, so I’m just fine with it!

And I am not on a diet.

So my advice?  Choose good nutrition over a diet!  Then, load up on your veggies, throw out the white breads and pastas (seriously, throw them out!  Now!), replace them with whole grains, and treat yourself every once and a while!  Then remember, good nutrition + regular exercise = successful weight loss.  I promise.

Posted by thea on April 16, 2009

No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others.  The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.  ~Author Unknown

First off, let me say CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who posted their numbers on Wednesday. Whether you gained, lost, or maintained, it takes a lot of courage to tell the world (or at least our little corner of the world) about it. You should be proud of yourself! Great job!

When is the last time you hit a breaking point? We’ve all had those days where you feel like you are going to FLIP OUT if one more thing goes wrong. I just had one yesterday and all I wanted to do was drown myself in a vat of Dairy Queen Butterfinger Blizzard. As an emotional eater, I know that disappointment and stress are my trigger points and when that trigger is pulled, I need to run screaming from the kitchen or else I will eat everything in sight.

When you feel that way, what’s the first thing you reach for? The chips or the phone? The chocolate or the keyboard? The ice cream or the pen?

During the times when you feel that you just can’t count another calorie, or write down another thing you ate, or exercise for even a minute, REACH OUT! Who is your support system? Who can you call or e-mail or write when things just aren’t going the way you planned?

For me, it is my husband Dave and my sister Kristen. They have been my sounding board throughout my entire (long, drawn out) weight loss journey. When Dave brings me home candy bars, he reminds me it’s O.K. to eat them, don’t just don’t eat that AND ice cream AND another candy bar. He helps me realize that I can eat what I want, just as long as I don’t eat EVERYTHING I want. Kristen is who I go to when I need to vent about the day to day stuff. We e-mail each other constantly and give each other challenges and goals to help keep us motivated. We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders, but we are also not afraid to give each other a swift kick in the backside if we see the other spiraling out of control.

Without them, I never would have made it to the point (and the weight) I am today. Thanks, guys!

So who is your support system? Who do you turn to in your darkest food choice hour? Is it a friend? A relative? A diary? Heck, I once knew someone who vented her food woes to a dog. Find someone (or something) today. It will make your journey that much easier, and more enjoyable.

Good luck this week!

Posted by christy on April 7, 2009

Gosh, you gotta love holidays, right? Just when you think you’re in the clear, another one comes along! This time we’re being tempted with candy coated chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies just begging for their ears to be bitten off, and sugar-coated marshmallow birds! Oy! As usual, Weight Watchers hits me with an email yesterday that answered all of my questions about trimming down during Easter, and gave me hope that I can continue to shrink through the holiday.

What I gleaned from the article is that you’ve got to allow yourself to indulge a little. We know that right? Strict denial leads to overindulgence. You know the sweets are going to be all around, so plan for them. Save some points or calories! It’s only one day, and you’re not going to undo all of your hard work scarfing down sampling a few treats. You should stay away from chocolate bunnies the size of your forearm though, just so you know. Even if they are hollow, they’re still evil!

Some suggestions for smart snacking are miniature bags of jelly beans, gummy bears, and small foil wrapped candies. These will allow you to get just enough without going overboard. Things to stay away from include, the aforementioned foil wrapped bunnies, any candy larger than the end of your finger, life-sized gooey cream filled eggs.

Here are a few more tips to help make your Easter a little healthier for the entire family!

  • Instead of buying a bunch of candy, buy plastic eggs and fill them with non-candy fun, like stickers, tattoos, coins, costume jewelry, and other small toys.
  • Get moving as a family! A vigorous Easter egg hunt can be fun for everyone! Take a walk after lunch or dinner and throw your candy in your neighbors’ yards!
  • Think about putting snack packs in your kids’ baskets! Goldfish, 100-Calorie packs of cookies, animal crackers.
  • If you do want to buy candy, only buy a little. Who needs all of that candy lying around tempting you days later?
  • Put some new crayons and a spiffy new coloring book in the basket in lieu of the gigantic chocolate demon bunny. Jump ropes and sidewalk chalk are fun, too, and will get your kids moving.
  • If you do end up with tons of useless candy lying around, bag it up and send it to school with your child. Take it to work and dump it in the break room (just like everyone else), and then stay away from it. Send it to work with your husband. Sneak over to your neighbors house and leave it on their front porch. Throw it away and then take the garbage out. Just get it out of the house!

If you keep you head on straight, you’ll most definitely make it through this holiday with little or no rise on the scales! Just remember, nothing tastes as good as thin and healthy feels!! Write it down, stick it all over your house, heck tattoo it on your arm so you’ll see it every time you reach for that stupid hollow bunny.

Yesterday we posted a couple of great main dish recipes, and today we’ll hit you with some dessert recipes, and look out tomorrow for some side dishes. No one says you have to eat the traditional oh-so-bad-for-you ham and mashed potatoes!!

Posted by thea on April 2, 2009

I’ve always been a night owl.  For as long as I can remember, I would stay up very late at night and be exhausted the next day.  When I was a kid, it would not have been unusual for me to sleep until 1pm or later on the weekends.

I am no longer afforded the luxury of sleeping in, but that hasn’t stopped me from still staying up too late.  Way, WAY too late on most nights.  I typically only get between 5 and 6 hours of sleep.

The result is that I feel like crap the next day.  I’m too tired to think about exercising and eating right.  It’s a real struggle to think about ANYTHING, let alone weight loss.

As it turns out, sleep deprivation can lead to much bigger problems.

There was an article in Fitness magazine recently discussing the link between Type 2 Diabetes and sleep deprivation:

In fact, just three consecutive nights of inadequate sleep can elevate a person’s risk to a degree roughly equivalent to gaining 20 to 30 pounds, according to a 2007 study at the University of Chicago.

…previous research from Yale and the New England Research Institutes…showed that people who clock six hours or less of sleep a night are twice as likely to develop diabetes in their lifetime as those who snooze seven hours.

Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to an increased chance of:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • Psychiatric problems, including depression and other mood disorders
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Mental impairment
  • Fetal and childhood growth retardation
  • Injury from accidents
  • Disruption of bed partner’s sleep quality
  • Poor quality of life

So do you get enough sleep?  Are you tired all the time?  It may be time to put “get more sleep” on your goal’s list.

Posted by christy on March 24, 2009

As I started to prepare for this post, I thought I knew all about the food pyramid! You know, it’s a pyramid, it tells you how much of each food group you should eat, and it’s, um well, a pyramid! How complicated could it be right? Well, get ready for lots of links!!

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans [Dietary Guidelines], first published in 1980, provides science-based advice to promote health and to reduce risk for chronic diseases through diet and physical activity. The recommendations contained within the Dietary Guidelines are targeted to the general public over 2 years of age who are living in the United States. Because of its focus on health promotion and risk reduction, the Dietary Guidelines form the basis of federal food, nutrition education, and information programs.

Since 1980, the Guidelines have been jointly issued and updated every 5 years by the Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS).

A look back at the Dietary Guidelines for Americans:

  • 1980
  • 1985
  • 1990
  • 1995 – This is the year the pyramid made it’s appearance. The nutrition facts we see on all foods also made their debut in 1995.
  • 2000
  • 2005

It’s interesting if you look at each set of guidelines. The first couple are small pamphlets of about 12-14 pages (and I’m sorry, but the scans are terrible. It looks like someone spilled coffee on one of them). With each new set, the pages double and sometime triple, and they’re remarkably clean and coffee stain free! All the information is basically the same, but the detail gets better and better, and the focus turns more to healthy eating and physical activity.

Unlike the past pyramids, the current pyramid doesn’t give a general number of servings for each group. It seems that the powers that be have realized that individual needs vary based on weight, height, physical activity, and age.

Inside the pyramid (please click the links for more information and examples of foods from each group):

  • Grains – Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples of grain products.
  • Vegetables – Any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice counts as a member of the vegetable group. Vegetables may be raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated; and may be whole, cut-up, or mashed.
  • Fruits – Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed.
  • Milk – All fluid milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Foods made from milk that retain their calcium content are part of the group, while foods made from milk that have little to no calcium, such as cream cheese, cream, and butter, are not. Most milk group choices should be fat-free or low-fat.
  • Meat & Beans – All foods made from meat, poultry, fish, dry beans or peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds are considered part of this group. Dry beans and peas are part of this group as well as the vegetable group. Most meat and poultry choices should be lean or low-fat. Fish, nuts, and seeds contain healthy oils, so choose these foods frequently instead of meat or poultry.
  • Oils – Oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature, like the vegetable oils used in cooking. Oils come from many different plants and from fish.
  • Discretionary Calories
  • Physical Activity – Physical activity simply means movement of the body that uses energy. Walking, gardening, briskly pushing a baby stroller, climbing the stairs, playing soccer, or dancing the night away are all good examples of being active. For health benefits, physical activity should be moderate or vigorous and add up to at least 30 minutes a day.

So what does all this mean for you? Loosely speaking, the serving recommendations have stayed about the same. You still want to get most of your daily intake from whole grains, closely followed up by veggies, and then fruit and lean meats are just about in a tie, and beneficial oils bring up the rear. Oh yeah, those discretionary calories are basically there in case you have extra calories leftover at the end of day, and you can use them to bulk up your meals or to indulge. And let’s don’t forget physical activity! Apparently your supposed to get some each day :), and 60-90 minutes is what is recommended if your interested in losing weight!

You can view the pyramid guidelines based on calorie intake here. This is helpful if you are dieting because the main pyramid is based on a 2000 calorie diet. Who eats 2000 calories? Seriously?

If you have questions about the pyramid, you can find lots and lots of answers here.

The MyPyramid feature uses your stats to show you your personal pyramid. Note that if you’re overweight (which is why you’re here right!) then it gives you the option of seeing what you should consume at your current weight or what you should consume to get to a healthy weight.

And finally, if you’re looking for ways to get your kids on the path to eating healthy, they have programs and guidelines for preschoolers (2-5) and kids (6-11). You’ll find online games, print-ables, and tips on discussing healthy eating with your kids!

Go forth and click links!!

Posted by thea on March 19, 2009

One of the biggest traps that you can fall into when you are on a weight loss journey is to worry too much about how far you have to go.

What about focusing on how far you’ve come?

Brian touched on this a little on Monday when he shared his Wii Fit weight chart. I’ve been keeping a weight graph since 2003.  Every week (or, at times, once a month), I log my weight into an Excel spreadsheet and I can see exactly how far I’ve come.

The steep incline was when I was pregnant with Emma.  The little, steady incline around Week 209 was when I decided I could do it on my own.  I couldn’t, LOL!

Look at that decline!  I did that.  Noone made me.  It was just something that I decided within myself that I needed to do.  Some may think “Gee, that took her a long time…” but who cares?  I did that.  That’s what matters.

The next time you feel discouraged and want to quit because you have “so far to go”, take a moment to remind yourself of what you’ve done.

So tell me…how far have YOU come?  What have you accomplished so far?

Posted by christy on March 17, 2009

Today is St. Patricks Day! Let’s celebrate, okay? Like, do it up right. How about we GO GREEN today. Yeah, don’t forget to wear green and all, but let’s also incorporate GREEN into our diets. In a big way. No, I don’t mean green beer (although that’s fine as long as it’s light!), I’m talking green fruits and vegetables.

  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • green beans
  • peas
  • lettuce
  • celery
  • cabbage
  • zucchini
  • cucumbers
  • apples
  • kiwis
  • grapes
  • bell peppers
  • jalapenos

Am I missing anything?

So today, I challenge you to eat at least 4 green fruits and veggies. Come back tonight and let us know how you did (or blog about it!) If you don’t, I get to pinch you, k?

And remember, our Kiss Me, I’m Shrinking Challenge ends tomorrow! Yes, tomorrow. All that green you get in today will only help you with your weigh-in tomorrow morning!!

Posted by christy on March 3, 2009

I recently came across this article on WebMD when searching for ideas on healthy eating in children. Since I began dieting 3 years ago, I’ve made it a point to try and instill healthy eating habits and positive feelings for food in my children. This article touches on lots of the things I try to focus on everyday.

I truly believe that fostering healthy eating habits at a young age will help children make the right choices when it comes to their food and diet later in life.

Some of the ways I’ve done this are:

  • Only buying whole wheat/whole grain bread. My kids don’t get white bread at home and my 5 year old thinks it’s weird and wrong
  • Buying no-sugar added jellies, condiments, snacks, basically everything!
  • I completely avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup.
  • I try to buy organic when it’s available, or all-natural if it’s not.
  • I make sure that at least one veggie is served with each meal. Thankfully my children have always been good veggie eaters, but it’s due in part to the fact that I have zero-tolerance for non-veggie eaters. They have to at least try it if it’s new, and eat it if it’s something I know they like. I will say that I try not to be forceful about it, because as well all know, that can just backfire on you. I also try to make new veggies exciting and kid friendly.
  • Milk or water are our beverage choices. Occasionally when we’re out to eat, I’ll let my son have a root beer! I’ve never been a juice buyer, so my kids really don’t know what they’re missing.
  • We eat all of our meals at the kitchen table. Together. This is something we didn’t do when I was growing up, so we not only do it because it promotes better eating habits, but because I like the idea of family meal time.
  • I don’t allow my kids to snack all day long. There are certain times and certain options for snacks. We usually have fruit, baby carrots, low-fat string cheese, or sometimes microwave popcorn. Snacks are also eaten at the kitchen table (or outside if it’s nice!).
  • And finally, I talk with my son about healthy eating. We discuss how healthy eating and exercise can lead to a long life. Right now he’s at the age where he’s a little obsessed with death and dying, so I make sure to remind him that he does have some control over how long he’ll live and how healthy he’ll be. We also talk about how certain foods are just better for you, like veggies, and lean meats.

So that’s it in a nutshell. Please make sure to check out this article on WebMD. And this one also has some good ideas for incorporating veggies in a fun way as well.

Posted by crookedeyebrow on February 24, 2009

Every time I think of vitamins I always think of one of my favorite comedians, Lucille Ball doing her vitameatavegamin episode. That is a classic but what is great is now is that taking  vitamin supplements or a multi-vitamins these days does not have to be that hard. No foul smelling or bad tasting liquids to gulp down. Those days are long gone!

Now since being made to take pre-natal vitamins I kinda wish I had been taking something all along. And let me tell you that these pre-natal vitamins have come a long way since I took them 8 years ago. Did you know that most samples I got had 2 pills in them? Yes, one vitamin and one supplement of DHA full of omegas for better brain development. Who knew?? Now I do.

Now walking down the vitamin isle was always overwhelming to me, which  in turn then completely turned me away from taking them. Too many choices and I gave up. I wasn’t even looking at plain supplements, only multi-vitamins for women that had plenty of calcium. There were all kinds of bottles, sizes , brands and even chocolate ones. Sheesh. We have come pretty far since “I Love Lucy’s” days huh?!

My question is to all of you:

Do you take a multi-vitamin?

If you do, what kind is your favorite? Also if you do take them, what made you start taking them in the first place?

If you do not take any, why is that? Was it the overwhelming choices or do you just feel it’s a waste?

I think more people in the sisterhood would be interested to see everyone’s responses and reasonings, so go on, share with all of us!

Posted by crookedeyebrow on February 17, 2009

When we introduced the couch to 5K program on how to run, the first thing I thought of was, “Is this going to flare up my plantar faciitis again?”

Have you heard of plantar fasciitis before? It all starts at the plantar fascia — the tissue along the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes. Sometimes certain activities that you do can cause you heel pain resulting in inflammation of the plantar fascia, called plantar fasciitis. It’s very common and I see it a lot at work.

Are your first steps out of bed painful in the morning, but seem to improve throughout the day as you walk? Or does your heel pain worsen after you get done jogging?

Plantar fasciitis causes stabbing or burning pain that’s usually worse in the morning because the fascia tightens (contracts) overnight. Once your foot limbers up, the pain of plantar fasciitis normally decreases, but it may return after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position.

What else you may feel…

  • Heel pain after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position
  • Heel pain after, but not usually during, exercise
  • Mild swelling in your heel
  • Sharp pain in the inside part of the bottom of your heel
  • How does it happen?

    The plantar fascia is a shock-absorbing tissue that supports the arch in your foot. But, if tension on that tissue becomes too great, it can create small tears in the fascia. Repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed.

  • Physical activity overload.Plantar fasciitis is common in long-distance runners. Jogging, walking or stair climbing also can place too much stress on your heel bone and the soft tissue attached to it.
  • Improper shoes. Shoes that are thin-soled or lack arch support or the ability to absorb shock don’t protect your feet. If you regularly wear shoes with high heels, your Achilles tendon — which is attached to your heel — can contract and shorten, causing strain on the tissue around your heel.
  • Arthritis.Some types of arthritis can cause inflammation in the tendons in the bottom of your foot, which may lead to plantar fasciitis.
  • Your foot structure
  • Obesity
  • Prevention is the key

    Remember to be good to your feet, they are the only ones God gave you and they are to carry you for a lifetime. Here are a few good tips to help prevent plantar faciitis:

  • Wake up with a stretch. Before you get out of bed in the morning, stretch your calf muscles, arch and Achilles tendon by reaching for your toes and gently flexing your foot. This helps reverse the tightening of the plantar fascia that occurs overnight.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. This minimizes the stress on your plantar fascia.
  • Choose supportive shoes. Avoid shoes with excessively low heels or high heels. Buy shoes with a low to moderate heel, good arch support and shock absorbency. Never walk around barefoot, even in your own home.
  • Start sports activities slowly. Warm up before starting any athletic activity or sport, and start a new exercise program slowly.
  • How to treat at home

  • Apply ice. Roll your foot over a frozen water bottle for 15 to 20 minutes three or four times a day or after activity. Regular ice massage can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Stretch. Simple exercises can stretch or strengthen your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon and calf muscles. Place both hands on the wall and extend one foot back. Put the extended heel to the floor and stretch making sure not to bounce. Switch sides.
  • Put your feet up. Stay off your feet for several days when the pain is severe.
  • Don’t push it. Switch to lower impact exercises and lower the intensity. If you walk 2 miles, try only 1 until the pain subsides.
  • Add arch supports to your shoes. Inexpensive over-the-counter arch supports take the tension off the plantar fascia and help absorb shock.
  • Use over-the-counter pain medications.Tylenol, Mortin, Advil or Alevemay ease pain and inflammation. Use as directed.
  • When to call the doctor

     If you don’t see much progress after a few weeks of home treatment, see your family doctor or a foot doctor (podiatrist). If the pains worsens even with home treatment, contact a doctor sooner.

    So now you know how to keep you and your feet moving, in a healthy way. Don’t ignore the symptoms and happy trails to you!

Posted by crookedeyebrow on February 10, 2009

During this challenge we have been focusing on some heart healthy topics. Not only do we all wish to lose weight and shrink our jeans, but we also want to be healthy-heart healthy savvy too.

When making better choices in our diets, deciding which is better, butter of margarine can be confusing. Do you all remember our post about fat? We chatted it up about how we need to stay away from the bad fats such as saturated and trans-fats. Remember?  Yes you do…

So knowing all about fats, which is really better? Butter or margarine? Both butter and margarine are both about the same amounts of calories and about 4grams of fat per teaspoon. Let’s take a closer look on what kind of fats are in them, shall we?


Butter is an animal product loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol. Both of which increase our risk of heart disease and strokes.


Margarine is made from vegetable oil, which is low in saturated fat and has no dietary cholesterol. But because the liquid vegetable oil in stick margarine is hardened through a process called hydrogenation, it is high in trans-fatty acids. If  you recall, trans-fats raise levels of bad cholesterol, but also to lower levels of good cholesterol.

Light Spreads

Thankfully there are a number of light spreads and margarine products on the market that are trans-fat-free. Some of these spreads also contain plant sterols and stanols, which block the absorption of cholesterol, making these spreads much healthier alternatives to regular margarine and butter. Because these light margarines and spreads have not been hydrogenated, they are soft and usually sold in tubs rather than sticks.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends margarine over butter, advising us to choose soft tubs varieties over hard sticks. Try and choose a brand with no more than 2 grams of fat per tablespoon and with liquid vegetable oil as the primary ingredient.

In general, the AHA recommends using natural, non-hydrogenated oils such as canola or olive oil, and to look for processed foods without saturated fat or trans fats. Just remember, the important thing is to use these products in small amounts.

Posted by crookedeyebrow on February 5, 2009

Starting a weight loss journey can be confusing with so many different programs to follow. Here at the sisterhood we want you to lose weight in a healthy and safe way. This past week we have outlined just a few different weight loss programs such as Weight Watchers and the South Beach Diet. Have you ever tried them? I was a weight watcher at one point but overall I watch caloric contents of food as well as serving sizes.

Remember way back in school when we all learned what a calorie was? Am I going to recite the full definition here? Nope, boring. Instead you can refresh your memory here if you would like.

So if you decide to start counting calories, I suppose we should start with the basic principles, right? Right. Basically you need to eat less calories than what your body needs to burn for energy. If you end up eating more calories than what your body needs, the excess calories you have consumed gets stored as fat.

Just how many calories do I need to eat in one day to lose weight?

There is no magic number of calories we should all eat each day to lose weight. While most people can lose weight eating around 1,500 calories, you can assess your own personal caloric needs with a little math. There are factors such as sex, age and activity level. The more energy you burn (such as walking) the more calories your body needs.

The most common diet that most food labels list is a 2,000 calorie diet. Many dietitians I have met suggest and 1800 calorie diet to lose weight. Remember everyone is different. Calculate what is right for you!

Math? What?

Yes just like with figuring out how much fiber, fat or water you are to have each day, Calories are no different. Most calculations gives you the number of calories to maintain your body weight.  But if that is not your goal, you will need to cut calories out of your daily diet.

Try this calorie calculator! It gives you the number you need and for weight loss!

Every 3,500 calories is equivalent to one pound!

In order to lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit. It is easier and healthier to cut back your calorie intake a little bit at a time. Every 3,500 calories is equivalent to one pound.

So, if you cut back 500 calories a day, you should lose about one pound per week. That said, If you exercise to burn off 500 calories a day you should lose approximately one pound per week. Do both and you get the picture. Ideally, you should do a combination of both! (such as cut back 250 calories; burn an extra 250 calories).

Can you think of one thing that is 500 calories that you are willing to give up? I have. No more soda for me! What are you willing to give up?

Never cut back to fewer than 1,200 daily calories without medical supervision.

Now is the time to start changing small thing in our diets. Such as whole grain breads instead of white bread, lower fat milk, or even making the change to diet soda. You can do it. Start reading your labels and keep track of your food,even if for one week! You will start getting the hang of it in no time. There are some fabulous websites out there to help you count and keep track too! Here are just a few…

Calorie count

Calorie King

My Calorie Counter

Posted by christy on February 3, 2009

Yesterday, Lisa outlined the Weight Watchers plan, and today I’m going to outline the South Beach Diet for you. Now to be honest, I’ve never used the South Beach plan to lose weight. I’m a half-assed Weight Watchers girl. But Weight Watchers is what I know, what I’m comfortable with, it’s ingrained into my brain. I almost don’t have to calculate points anymore because I can pretty accurately guesstimate them. With that being said, after researching the South Beach diet, and seeing other people have success with it, I’m pretty impressed.

I am not one for fad diets. I do not believe you should cut anything completely out of your diet. Not carbs, not fat, not sugar. You need all of that stuff, and with moderation you can have it. Knowing how to incorporate all of that stuff into your diet is the key to successfully losing weight AND keeping it off.

So here are the Basics of South Beach (taken straight from their site and just condensed into a quick overview):

  • The South Beach Diet is a food lovers diet. You love food, right? That’s what got you into this mess, right? Well now, you can love food and lose weight. It’s a way of life. It’s about learning to eat right – a way you can eat for the rest of your life.
  • The South Beach Diet was doctor-designed by leading preventive cardiologist Arthur Agatston with the goal of helping people improve their health — and lose weight doing it. Eating the array of foods emphasized on the South Beach Diet — whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, and healthy fats — can reduce your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, prediabetes, and diabetes.
  • The diet is broken down into 3 phases. Phase 1 like boot camp. It probably sucks, but it’s necessary to reset your body and get rid of all the bad cravings. Basically you eliminate sugar and refined starches (like white bread, mac n cheese, cookies), but only for 2 weeks. After that, you hit Phase 2 and you slowly start reintroducing healthy carbs like whole-grain bread and brown rice, and natural sugars back into your diet. Phase 3 is a maintenance phase – basically how you’re going to eat for the rest of your life to maintain your bitchin’ new bod You’ll get to eat all the food you want, but you have to retain control over portion sizes and indulgences.
  • Now what do you get to eat? South Beach is coined as a food lovers diet. If you join their online program, you can customize weekly meal plans to fit your needs and schedule. You can reead more about what you might eat here.
  • The South Beach diet does not require you to count anything. Not calories, carbs, or fat. The plan teaches you how to choose the most nutritious foods and by learning this it’s not necessary to count. The plan emphasizes that calorie counting doesn’t work if you’re choosing the wrong foods.
  • Because the plan focuses on healthy, nutritious foods, you’ll probably be in the kitchen alot! But that’s not a bad thing. In order to live healthy, you need to learn how to prepare meals. Your whole family will benefit! Like Weight Watchers, South Beach also has a line of convenience foods, called South Beach Living, available at your local grocery store. Items like frozen meals, breakfast bars, snacks, dressings, and cookies.
  • The South Beach diet website offers books, fitness DVDs, and food items. You can either use the South Beach Diet book to learn about the plan, or you can join South Beach Diet’s online community for $5 a week. (Just an FYI, WW online is $16.95 a month)

So go forth and investigate. Decide what plan is best for you. But keep in mind, we’ll also be featuring a couple of more weight loss plans this week: calorie counting and Eat Right for Your Type. Stick around and you’ll learn something! I promise.